Western Canadians came together on September 28th to raise money for Spirit of the North Healthcare foundation in Vanderhoof, BC. One hundred percent of the funds rose that evening went to the foundation for their projects, as well as a scholarship fund for “current Vanderhoof healthcare workers wanting to upgrade their education,” Bailee Toll explained. The Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation raises money for northern health and healthcare related projects.
The event was sponsored by over 75 local businesses and individuals in the Vanderhoof area. The event was held by the UNBC JDC West team for the Spirit of the North Healthcare foundation. Toll said, “UNBC JDC West is a university student led business competition team. The top universities across Western Canada compete in a number of areas including academics, athletics, social (mix of amazing race and fear factor), debate as well as charity.” Toll also explained that “the charity portion of the competition is a great opportunity for the 50 individuals on the team to get involved in the community around them and raise funds for something they are extremely passionate about. The UNBC JDC West team has been working specifically with the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation for 3 years now, and last year rose over $27,000.”
There was plenty of fun to draw people to the fundraiser. The night included dinner, dancing and an auction. The night’s music was provided by Sound Addiction. Toll’s goal of the night was to raise awareness for the Spirit of the North in the Vanderhoof area and to raise $8,000, which they far exceeded by raising $12,000. Toll said that the night was a great success, not only monetarily, but also because, “Coming from a very small community of a population of only 4000, it was great to see everyone come together for such an amazing cause. I was pleasantly surprised by the support from both businesses and individuals.”
In order to spread the word about the great night, Toll used many methods. She used posters, social media, and radio interviews in the local area. She said that by far word of mouth was the most effective because, “as it is a very small and close knit community,” Toll said. Planning an event of this magnitude can be daunting to some, but Toll explained that is was, “Indescribable. I learnt so much, and met so many amazing people along the way. It really assisted me in increasing my network, which I can use later on in my professional career. It was great to see all of my hard work and planning pay of the night of the event from the amount of fun all of the individuals who attended the event had as well as the financial support the community provided.”